The weekend’s over and it’s back to the daily grind. Monday has come to symbolize a return to the dull, the boring, the tedious. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Many people try to psyche themselves up for the day (and week) ahead with coffee, but why not try yoga as well? Yoga is calming, de-stressing, and can help you kick off your work week with a positive attitude and a healthy outlook.
If you’re tired, unmotivated, or suffer other symptoms of the dreaded Monday-itis, perk yourself up with these yoga poses.
1. Locust Pose (Shalabhasana)
Feel like Superman in this classic posture (or its many variations.) To start, lie on your belly with your arms at your sides and your forehead resting on your mat.
Extend your arms in front of you and your legs behind you. Squeeze your thighs and buttocks and engage your core. Take a deep breath, exhale, and raise your arms and legs as high as you comfortably can.
Make sure that your shoulders are rolled down and back, and your neck is in line with your spine. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute, then release.
Locust pose strengthens the core and legs while stretching and strengthening the back. It’s also a fantastic mood booster and stress reliever.
2. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Take a cue from our canine friends and start your week with a grateful, happy, and innocent heart. Stretch your troubles away with Down Dog, arguably the most popular yoga pose that rejuvenates an exhausted body and calms a buzzing mind.
Get into this pose by getting down on all fours, the hands beneath the shoulders and the knees directly underneath the hips. Your fingers should be spread out and your back should be straight and relaxed.
Breathe out, tuck in your toes, and lift your knees up off the mat. Lift your pelvis up, and straighten your legs and arms without locking your knees or elbows. Try to keep your feet flat on the mat.
Downward-Facing Dog also builds strength throughout the entire body and helps reduce fatigue, making it a perfect asana for stressful workdays.
3. Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)
This posture is traditionally believed to reduce anxiety and relieve stress while decompressing the spine and strengthening and lengthening the legs and the spine.
To get started, get into Mountain Pose and stand with your feet 3-4 feet apart on the mat. Stand straight and tall, then hinging forward, slowly lower your head and torso towards the floor in a forward bend while pushing the hips up.
Place both palms flat on the floor. If you can’t, don’t worry about it. You can also keep a micro-bend in the knees if the hamstring stretch gets a bit too much.
Hold the pose for half a minute then release by taking a deep breath and slowly unfolding back up to a standing straight position.
Does yoga help you cope with Mondays? Which posture is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!